Floyd leaves trail of flooding, death and destruction

HURRICANE Atlantic coast of America remains on high alert as 110mph storm smashes into Cape Fear and heads north towards New York City

By Andrew Marshall in Washington

MUCH OF America's North-East was battening down the hatches yesterday as Hurricane Floyd careened up the coast. Although its strength was much reduced, it still posed a serious threat to coastal communities from Virginia to Maine and winds of 75mph or more extended for over 100 miles from its centre.

Four people were killed in North Carolina, where it made landfall, and one person died in the Bahamas, which Floyd hit earlier in the week. The deaths were believed to be from traffic accidents provoked by the storm.

Floyd hit land in the early hours yesterday near Cape Fear, North Carolina, flooding the coast and sweeping away trees and boats with 110mph winds. It cut electricity to hundreds of thousands of people. A 10-foot surge washed over the nearby Wilmington area as Floyd rolled in. Rain still poured down at midmorning.

Flooding was severe across the east of the state and water was waist- high on roads near the coast. Floodwaters burst a dam holding back Lake Glenwood and forced emergency officials to evacuate a shelter full of refugees in Pitt County. "The flooding is just incredible, over mail boxes in some areas," said Huey Marshall, spokesman for Brunswick County.

Across the Cape Fear river in New Hanover County, more than 16 inches of rain fell. Buildings were battered in several eastern counties and winds were recorded at 138mph in Wrightsville Beach.

In Pender County, National Guards in trucks went to rescue people trapped in their homes by rising water. Some were stranded on trailer home roofs in Roanoke Rapids. Floyd swept on to Greenville and was moving at about 25 miles per hour to the North-east. Hurricanes lose power over land.

"It is a very dangerous storm," said North Carolina's Governor James Hunt. "We've had terrific damage." Thousands of people had lost their homes, he said. "We have had four deaths reported already and the great danger is that the tremendous flooding, the worst in our history, from this storm, could mean more people getting out into these flood waters today trying to get back to their homes or other places." Waist-high floods covered coastal areas.

As it swept onwards to Virginia, cities as far north as Massachusetts were preparing for the worst. Disaster preparations were under way in New York City, Cape Cod and along the coast of Maine. Schools were closed in New Jersey and New York, and in apartment blocks in Greenwich Village residents were warned of the imminent danger.

Mayor Rudolph Giulianiasked private businesses in New York City to close early so people could get home safely. The heavy rains and storm surge which a hurricane brings could knock out roads and subways in commuter areas across the North-east.

Police declared a state of emergency in Atlantic City, which was gearing up to hold the Miss America pageant today. Winds of up to 60mph were expected to hit the city last night and today. Atlantic City, the East Coast's premier casino town, is on a barrier island three miles offshore.

Hurricane Gert, which had been closely tracking Floyd's path, seemed set to turn north and east out into the Atlantic rather than hitting the US coast. It has strengthened to a Category Five, but should miss land.

In New York City, Kennedy International Airport was reporting 30 to 45- minute flight delays yesterday. Rain caused delays of up to an hour at nearby La Guardia Airport, although the Newark, New Jersey, airport reported no weather-related trouble.

While flights to Miami and some other Florida cities resumed, hundreds of others were cancelled yesterday in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and the Washington area. American Airlines grounded flights in Boston, Hartford, Connecticut, New York and Philadelphia.

Elsewhere, Amtrak said it did not expect to fully restore passenger rail service south of Washington until today, at the earliest.

TYPHOON YORK LASHES HONG KONG

TYPHOON YORK lashed Hong Kong yesterday, leaving one person dead, one missing and nearly 500 injured as the territory's worst storm in 16 years uprooted trees, tossed ships about and shattered windows. Some 467 people were taken to hospital, including a man hit by flying debris who bled to death. Eleven people were in a serious condition. In winds of up to 87mph, rescuers winched five crew off a sinking freighter and pulled residents out of flooded homes and lifts stranded between floors by power failures. It is the worst storm to hit Hong Kong since Typhoon Ellen killed 10 people in 1983.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

Day In a Page

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road